After Thanksgiving ‘break’ turned out to mean ‘run around and see all the family ever (and come home exhausted)’, Dan and I vowed to take it easy Christmas break and stay home for most of the time. Well, that didn’t happen. Maybe next year we can ask people to come see us, but this year we gave in to being the ones doing the visiting, so we ended up having four different Christmas celebrations in different towns.
Our first and most laid-back celebration was our Christmas at home, which we celebrated before leaving to visit family. We decided to keep it simple this year, which in retrospect was a really good idea because our boys have so many people that love them that we really didn’t need to go over the top (not that we could afford to anyway.) We did do our own stockings, even though it wasn’t actual Christmas and I know we’re going to do stockings again with my family on Christmas morning, but… what can I say, I like stockings. 🙂
In Damien’s stocking… (age three)
- A red and green toy Snoopy train (with candy inside) (from the Dollar Spot in Target)
- A Matchbox car
- A tube of Christmas-themed mini M&Ms
- An inflatable lightsaber
- A lightsaber toothbrush (his is the Yoda one)
- A Best Bro Ever tshirt
In Rowen’s stocking… (age almost five months)
- A Christmas-y rubber duckie (from the impulse aisle at Micheal’s)
- A MAM teething toy
- A pack of pacifiers and pacifier clips (in the next size up; he’s currently using 0-6 months and those are 6+ months)
- A Best Baby Bro onesie (it was from Old Navy but apparently they don’t have it anymore; this is what the new ones look like)
Dan and I also had stockings; he put stuff in mine and I put stuff in his. Dan got holiday Mad Libs, holiday boxers, holiday peanut M&Ms, and the other inflatable lightsaber (you can’t have a lightsaber battle with just one!) (Damien tried to get me to join them in their battle using the toothbrush, thankfully still in the package. It wasn’t really a fair fight, haha.) I got a whole bunch of pens (I’m always running out of pens/searching the house and store for The Perfect Pen, so this was an apt gift) and cute clip magnet, which I plan to use to hang pictures on our doors (I recently realized both our front and back door are magnetic and it CHANGED MY LIFE – well, it made our fridge less cluttered anyway.)
Then it was presents time! Our gift game plan this year was to give both boys two gifts, and have them give one to each other. We gave Damien a Radio Flyer scooter (he asked for a scooter for Christmas during the summer, and continued to request one) and wooden building blocks (a cheaper version of this) (interestingly both of these are toys similar to ones at preschool, so he jumped right into using both of them). Rowen gave Damien this wooden drum (obviously Rowen did not pick this out; after I already bought Damien’s presents he added a drum to his most-asked list, so I decided to make it from his brother. Rowen will probably play with it someday, so he might want to buy it.) 🙂
Rowen received a personalized elephant lovie/teether from One Step Ahead and a Pearhead giraffe bank. I realized later that those were the exact same gifts I gave Damien for his first Christmas (only it was a personalized bunny and an elephant bank.) Rowen also received this Skip Hop stroller bar toy from Damien, which Damien selected online (because at this point, taking him to a store to pick something out = picking something for himself, not baby brother, and then insisting that Rowen would like a remote control Lightning McQueen.)
Dan and I also did a scaled down gift exchange. He bought me the LOTR movie trilogy (versus the books, which I already have, haha) and a family picture frame, which he filled with pictures (love!! I’ve been wanting a family frame since Damien was born.) I apparently was overwhelmed with a childlike spirit this Christmas because I got him an all terrain RC car to play with/play with Damien/torture Ripley with (I can’t even find a link to it right now but I’ll add it later.). Damien helped me pick out his second present, a magnetic dartboard (which caused all kinds of drama when it arrived in the mail because Damien wanted Dada to share it RIGHT NOW and didn’t understand why we had to wrap it and wait for some arbitrary date) (which did turn out to be an arbitrary date because we didn’t do Christmas on Christmas, but anyway.) When Dan and I were dating (and when we lived with my parents) we used to play with my parents’ magnetic dartboard set, which gradually lost all its darts and was discarded when they moved, so it was a fun present to bring back memories. (The best part of this dartboard is the baseball-themed back, which is a lot more fun than darts as far as I’m concerned.)
Oh, and we can’t forget our furriest family member! Ripley received a brand new bed (which she immediately started sleeping in – I guess it’s a lot more comfortable than her former crushed bed) as well as a bag of special treats (aka treats that are actually just for yumminess and are not combo treats/toothbrushes, which is what I normally buy. Poor deprived dog.)
Gift Update, 1 1/2 Months Later:
Because I didn’t manage to publish this until long after the fact, I thought I’d write an update on the gifts, how they’re working out, and if I’d buy them again. Just for funsies.
Damien’s stocking: all good buys, although that Snoopy train is REALLY LOUD AND ANNOYING and I’m wishing I would have put it away with the Christmas stuff and made it a seasonal toy (note to self: it’s not too late!) He did manage to put a small hole in his inflatable light saber last week, but he’s played with those things so darn much that it’s amazing it didn’t happen a month ago and it was still totally worth buying.
Rowen’s stocking: he doesn’t really care about the teething toy yet but maybe he will; everything else is fine.
Damien’s gifts: He hasn’t spent as much time on the scooter as I’d hoped; then again, it is January and we don’t spend a ton of time outside. I’ll have to work on that. At least it’s a good size for him (I was worried it would be too small since Damien is tall for his age.) He’s played a lot with his blocks and wooden drum. During the Christmas season it was his ‘little drummer boy drum’ and now I have it in a box of other musical instruments, for when Damien gets a hankering to be in a band (he’ll distribute an instrument to whoever happens to be in the house. It’s pretty cute.) I was a little worried the drum would be too young for him but I’m glad I got it; it’s good quality, he likes it, and best of all it isn’t annoying (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, SNOOPY TRAIN.)
Rowen’s gifts: I love the embroidered elephant toy of course, but Rowen also seems to be into it. It hasn’t replaced Sophie in his heart but he does like holding/nomming it. The bank is cute, though he obviously isn’t using it yet (though I’ve put some change in there.) The stroller bar toy is a little less enthralling to him than I’d hoped, but he does like it, and it’s super cute/easy to put on.
Dan’s and my gifts: The remote control… thing… is a little glitchy, which makes me mad since it was the most expensive item from Christmas this year. It’s really cool, when it works, but it will randomly refuse to work (and it’s not battery-related; it’ll malfunction on brand new batteries.) The magnetic dart board is super fun; we’ve all enjoyed playing with it, especially the baseball side. Dan and I still need to watch the LOTR movies together (well, rewatch, since we’ve seen them all before obviously) (I say ‘obviously’ because they were a big thing when we were in high school and we are, after all, nerds. Haha.) We did hang the family frame on the wall and I love it! It inspired me to hang a few more things on the wall, which makes me happy. I really need to take the time to do stuff like that, because it really makes a difference in my state of mind for some reason.
Oh, and Ripley’s bed is fine. It looks new, whereas her old one looks like a pile of crap, and she’ll sleep on it… though she’ll also sleep on a pile of dirty clothes so that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement. At least the bed looks better in my living room than a pile of dirty clothes!